Mayor Greg Stanton said the state of the city of Phoenix is strong and getting stronger during his inaugural State of the City Address at the Phoenix Convention Center on Wednesday.
April 11 marked the end of Stanton’s first 100 days in office and the mayor was pleased to share some of the accomplishments that have been made during that time.
Stanton reported a “gimmick-free” balanced budget for 2012-13, which the city was able to accomplish by finding millions in efficiencies across the city. For the first time in five years the city plans to expand services to Phoenix residents.
Stanton addressed jobs in his speech. He announced that he will be leading a national task force of mayors to propose a way to protect defense jobs, which are being threatened by cuts to Pentagon programs. Stanton also mentioned the city’s second major biomedical campus being built in north Phoenix. The City Council recently unanimously supported that project.
Arizona State University may also be expanding its downtown campus in the future. Stanton announced plans to move the university’s law school to downtown, though he didn’t have any specific details about that project to release.
He also congratulated the city for its commitment to contract locally first and challenged mayors from across the Valley to do the same.
Sustainability was also a topic Stanton was happy to report on. He has plans to increase the amount of solar energy being produced in Phoenix and announced a partnership with the Barron Collier Company to turn an empty lot near Central and Indian School into an area for community gardens, urban farming and a place to showcase sustainable innovations. Stanton also thanked Congressman Ed Pastor for his help in getting a federal grant to expand light rail service into South Mountain Village. Stanton said in a press conference afterwards that he hopes to expand the city’s public transportation system as funding allows including an expansion of rail, bus and walkability and bikeability.
Stanton also promised a commitment to education and to ending homelessness. He has hired advocates for both issues to work with him in his office.
The complete State of the City Address can be found online at phoenix.gov.
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